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Rob Bell, the pastor who enraged Bible-believing Christians with his book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, has resigned from Mars Hill Bible Church. Bell, who makes controversial—and some say unbiblical—claims about hell, says God is calling him to pursue a “growing number of strategic opportunities.”
Bell’s leadership team announced his decision on a statement published on the Grandville, Mich., church’s website on Thursday:
"The infamous quote 'change is the only constant' certainly holds true at Mars Hill. We have experienced ongoing changes that have improved and transformed—as well as at times unintentionally created tension or heartache within our community. And now, we have another significant change to hold together.
"Feeling the call from God to pursue a growing number of strategic opportunities, our founding pastor Rob Bell has decided to leave Mars Hill in order to devote his full energy to sharing the message of God’s love with a broader audience.
"It is with deeply mixed emotions that we announce this transition to you. We have always understood, encouraged and appreciated the variety of avenues in which Rob’s voice and the message of God’s tremendous love has traveled over the past 12 years. And we are happy and hopeful that as Rob and Kristen venture ahead, they will find increasing opportunity to extend the heartbeat of that message to our world in new and creative ways."
Bell plans to address the church on Sunday, where he will outline his call to pursue a new venture. Stay tuned to Charisma News for more on this story as it unfolds.